Supplier Portal Software
How to benefit from digital procurement
Since 2005, ScienceSoft offers vendor portal development services helping businesses optimize their supplier management.
Vendor Portals Overview
A vendor management portal enables e-procurement via self-managed supplier onboarding, submission of purchase orders and requests for quote, competitive vendor bidding, online invoicing and payment.
With a supplier management portal software, you:
- Enable fast and standardized vendor onboarding procedure.
- Prioritize vendors based on the predefined criteria (such as product prices, vendor’s financial health or manufacturing capacity).
- See vendors’ products and prices transparently, which allows for fact-based negotiations over purchase order costs.
- Reduce the time and cost of resources allocated to procurement management due to process automation (vendor onboarding, purchase order creation, invoicing, and more).
As a rule, vendor onboarding software is integrated with the company’s ERP system to unfold the process of purchase order approval and submission faster, pay invoices timely and track order deliveries. The cost of vendor portal development starts at $70,000.
Key Functionality of a Vendor Portal
Working a lot with supplier collaboration portals, ScienceSoft can shortlist the functionality that forms the core of the described solution.
Vendor assessment and onboarding
- Vendor self-registration.
- Vendor documents submission.
- Vendor qualification based on predefined criteria.
- Questionnaires to better know a vendor, their products and procurement capacity.
- Vendor approval (including multi-step approval workflows).
- Email confirmation from a portal admin upon vendor registration approval.
Vendor’s work area
- Vendor self-management and update of business information.
- Hierarchy of user roles and permissions.
- Product catalog upload.
- Section with current tasks awaiting for user actions, e.g., purchase orders to invoice.
- Message log.
- Request for quotes.
- Purchase order creation.
- Invoice processing.
E-procurement process initiation
- Purchase requisition creation.
- Rule-based purchase requisition approval.
- Request for quote submission.
- Notifications to vendors on request for quote creation.
- Vendor bidding on a request for quote.
- Reverse auctioning.
Purchase order management
For a procurement team:
- Manual creation of purchase orders.
- Automated creation of purchase orders from approved requisitions.
- Viewing and printing purchase orders.
- Confirming purchase orders.
- Creating invoices.
Payment and invoicing
- Automated invoice creation from a purchase order.
- A possibility to create an invoice for a part of an order purchase.
- Automated prevention of duplicate invoice numbers.
- Search for invoices by vendor, payment status, date, invoice ID, etc.
- An order status and an automated notification email to the procurement team.
- A possibility for the procurement team to change, edit and cancel the order.
- Pack slip generation for order dispatch.
- Split order shipment to multiple addresses.
Supply performance reporting
- Purchase order lead time.
- Percentage of purchase orders delivered on time.
- Average delay in purchase order execution.
- Back orders per vendor.
A Quick Tour across a Vendor Portal Created by ScienceSoft
How to Integrate a Vendor Portal into Business Workflows
Vendor portal software is a centralized platform for businesses to exchange information with suppliers. To ensure seamless data flows, a vendor portal may be integrated with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, procurement software, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, supply chain management (SCM) systems, and more.
At ScienceSoft, we most often focus on integration with ERP. The reason is that ERP systems are the central hub of most businesses, managing all major business processes. Commonly, ERP systems comprise multiple modules like fleet management, inventory management, finance management, logistics control. By integrating the vendor portal with the ERP system, businesses can ensure data flows between different departments and suppliers, automate purchase order and invoice management.
On the illustration of vendor portal integrations, we give a sample combination of ERP modules fulfilling the described functions, still a real business environment may involve more modules if required by specific business workflows.
Buyers integrate a vendor portal with ERP
- to extend the visibility into procurement activities beyond corporate buyers to other involved teams (e.g., production planning team).
- to have order payment information synchronized between systems, inform suppliers on payment fulfillment instantly, and not delay order shipment.
- to store invoices for financial reporting.
- to inform an inventory management team about planned provision of supplies.
Suppliers integrate a vendor portal with ERP
- to upload product prices and process price quotes from buyers faster.
- to control product stock available for order.
- to have order shipment information updated automatically in a vendor portal.
- to store invoices for financial reporting.
- to plan the production based on historical sales data.
NB! Having 34 years of experience in enterprise application integration, ScienceSoft helps establish smooth vendor portal integrations with popular off-the-shelf ERP products like SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP, Oracle NetSuite ERP, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Infor CloudSuite, as well as with custom-made ERPs.
How to Make a Vendor Portal Truly Collaborative
We share with you tricks that we use at ScienceSoft to make user-friendly vendor portals.
As your portal will be used as supplier onboarding software, configure supplier registration requirements to check applicants against your criteria before onboarding. This way, you will avoid the inconveniences of incomplete supplier information or suppliers incapable to meet your demand peaks.
Add automated paths for buyer-supplier communication, like buttons to request a quote or inform about delayed order delivery. Buyers should have a possibility to connect to suppliers via a portal, with no need for email or phone assistance.
Set up automated email notifications to buyers whenever suppliers add comments or change the status of purchase orders. This is done not only for streamlined communication between buyers and suppliers but for uninterrupted supply chain performance – delays in procurement entail delays up the production line.
Create user tutorials for suppliers (in text and video formats) to describe all the functions and possibilities provided by a portal.
If you are planning a custom vendor portal, prioritize its architectural flexibility. This will ensure the portal’s easy integration with the internal systems of key suppliers, further improving and simplifying procurement processes.
Portal Cost and ROI Factors
- The functional set to build to cover your business requirements.
- Portal development approach: platform-based or custom-built.
- Number of ERP modules to integrate a portal with.
- Barriers common for in-person communication with suppliers (like time difference) are removed.
- Quitting in-person negotiations with suppliers and email-based document exchange (requisition lists, purchase orders, invoices) results in operational time saving.
- With more self-service tools added to supplier management, buyers can focus on negotiating better supplier contracts.
- The lead time for procurement processes is reduced by 50% on average.
Supplier Portal Software: Best Providers
Supplier portal software is a system for an end-to-end e-procurement process: supplier registration and approval, creation of purchase requisitions and purchase orders, payment and invoicing, and order management. ScienceSoft works with the following platforms to fully cover the needed functionality.
Power Apps portals
- A platform for low-code portal development by Microsoft.
- With Dynamics 365, a supplier management portal can be designed by adding and configuring components on the webpages via WYSIWYG Power Apps portals Studio. Deeper customization is also possible to create business-specific features not included in the off-the-shelf edition.
- Named a Leader among low-code application development platforms by globally renowned technology market researchers (Gartner, Forrester).
- Is built on top of Microsoft Dataverse, a cloud data storage solution. If you use other Dynamics 365 applications (e.g., for supply chain management), Dataverse will enable you to use your business data within a portal solution.
- Integrates with third-party services and applications.
- Some of the companies and governmental agencies having web portals based on Power Apps: Magna International, Suite Hub, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget of the State of Georgia, PHDC (Philadelphia’s full-service community development organization).
- Quick portal implementation for mid-sized companies.
- Companies using Dynamics 365 apps.
For authenticated portal users:
- $200/per 100 logins.
- $1,000/per 1,000 logins.
- $3,500/per 5,000 logins.
For anonymous external users:
- $100/ per 100,000 page views.
For internal users – Power Apps licenses:
- $10 – one app per user/month.
- $40 – unlimited apps per user/month.
Oracle Procurement Cloud
- Oracle offers a suite of supply chain management products that can be used together or separately.
- For the goal of supplier lifecycle management, Oracle provides cloud supplier portal software that covers all activities and transactions between buyers and suppliers (including self-service supplier information management, electronic purchase order submission and invoicing, shipment notifications, collaboration messaging, and more).
- The end-to-end Oracle-powered automation of procurement processes (vendor portal implementation as part of it) takes 1+ years.
- Some of the companies relying on Oracle for procurement automation: Royal London, Precision Group, The Fedcap Group, Capgemini, AlSafwa Cement Company.
- Overall, more than 7,100 organizations across 23 industries and in over 125 countries use Oracle for financial, operational, manufacturing, and supply chain solutions.
Large enterprises, complex supply chains (including multi-sourcing).
Upon request to a vendor.
Custom-built vendor portal
The idea behind using a platform to build a vendor portal is to minimize the development costs. However, when meeting your business requirements demands too much of software customization, custom development of a vendor management portal becomes a more cost-effective alternative. A custom-built portal will be unique for each business by bringing to life tailored vendor management capabilities, like an advanced vendor rating system. Functional modules can be added in an agile manner, allowing for continuous solution evolution.
MVP launch and continuous evolution.
Individual for each project.
Why a Custom Vendor Portal Is Your Best Choice
Ready-made vendor portal solutions are a rare case for mid-sized and large businesses. They have limited capabilities, and their costs scale considerably with the number of users. ScienceSoft’s clients increasingly opt for custom implementations. Custom supplier portal solutions can automate complex, non-standard vendor management processes based on your company’s specific vendor management and procurement policies, meet specific compliance and security requirements of highly regulated industries, and seamlessly integrate with legacy internal software (ERP, inventory management software, procurement software, etc.).
Vendor Portal Development Services
ScienceSoft will help you move to e-procurement for increased cost-effectiveness of your supplier management processes.
To give you a vendor portal concept, we:
- Analyze business and user needs.
- Investigate businesses workflows that will be covered by portal functionality.
- Choose the best-suited technology stack for portal development.
- Estimate project cost.
- Calculate project timeframes and plan agile sprints (if needed).
Our end-to-end portal development services include:
- Investigation stage: business needs analysis, business requirements specification, feasibility study.
- UX and UI design.
- Solution architecture design.
- Platform-based or custom portal development following the proposed solution architecture and functional specification.
- Vendor portal integration with third-party services and systems.
We Helped a Saudi Arabia-Based Company Launch a Supplier Collaboration Platform
To help the KSA-based suppliers address the complexity of choosing a reliable shipping partner, we came up with the idea to launch the platform that would directly connect shippers and carriers serving inbound and outbound international shipments in Saudi Arabia. Relying on ScienceSoft’s experience in software development and practical knowledge of the transportation and logistics sector, we commissioned them the end-to-end design and development of our shipping services marketplace.
Bader Alhamdan, Managing Director, Deyarat Trading